May 18, 1918

L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Let us sit to-night and get through. [DOT]

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

We can keep on until eight o'clock and then adjourn.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

What is the proposal; are we to sit after six?

The 'CHAIRMAN: The understanding is that, by mutual consent, the Committee will sit until the Indian Lands estimates are passed, and that when the Committee rises the House will adjourn until Monday at eleven o'clock.

Soldiers' L/and Settlement, $2,916,000.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

This is the first, vote

under the 'Soldier Settlement Act, 1917. The Soldier Settlement Board, appointed on January 31st last under the Act, consists of Mr. Samuel Maber, acting chairman, formerly head of the British Columbia Lands Branch of the Department

6 p'.m. of the Interior, who is serving on this board without extra -salary; Mr. C. F. Rowland, and Major Ashton. Mr. Maber is an old officer of the department and was appointed, in order that we might have the benefit of hi's wide experience and 'his excellent ability as a departmental officer. The activities of the board were first addressed to the taking care of such loans to returned soldiers as .would be necessary to enable them to do their spring seeding. Very satisfactory results have been accomplished. Applications have been disposed of to the number of 272. The advances in loans amount to $341,558, an average for each settler of $1,256. The Dominion land agencies throughout the country have been made agencies of the Soldier Settlement Board in order to avoid the expense of a duplicated organization.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Have you adopted the

famous Van Home plan of radial colonies? Do you take the lands here and there with-

out regard to the number of returned soldiers applying for them.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

We do not select the

land for them. The soldier .may settle on Dominion lands and get free entry. It is quite true that only a limited area of good land is available, but I t'h'ink there is enough to enable the board to be very useful to the soldier, for * time at all events. So far the board has not encouraged settlement in communities, the soldier may 'buy his own land anywhere, or if he has land and can give the board a first mortgage thereon, he is entitled to (a twenty-year loan at 5 per cent. This is 'the class of men who have so far chiefly availed themselves of the Act, although in some cases they have gone on unpat-*ented homestead lands. I cannot say how [DOT]many have made entries because our regulations have only recently been adopted. The machinery, however, is complete for taking care of entries made by returned soldiers.

Mr. PETER MeGIBBON (Muskoka): Is it the intention of the board to allot this land at present? If the area of available land is limited, what will be done in the case of soldiers who return two or three years hence?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

In governmental services we very seldom make arrangements for two or three years hence. It is sufficient to take care of the present and the immediate future. As a matter of general policy, however, it is my desire and the desire of the Government to work 'towards co-operative arrangements with the various provinces. Some progress has already been made to t^at end. We want to make arrangements whereby the assistance of the Dominion Government can be given to provincial plans and policies of soldier settlement, because we want to have regard to the fundamental principle of our constitution that the control of patented lands, civil rights and local administration is in the province.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Unionist

Mr. NESBITT:

Is there any intention of giving the soldier in the province of Ontario assistance to locate on land or in such business as he might carry on?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes. We have not yet got our organization in Ontario. We had first to take care of those districts from which the demands for land came, or where there was an immediate necessity of providing money, but we are now engaged in the work of establishing an organization in

Ontario. It will be available for all soldiers settling in Ontario who select, or who have, land in that province and can avail themselves of the privilege of the Act and give the Soldier Settlement Board a mortgage on their land. Amy one so settling can get a loan of $2,500 if the value of his land warrants that being done. As to any [DOT] scheme of soldier settlement generally, we hope, having in view the acquirement of land for the purpose, to work in co-operation with the Ontario Government.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. OAHILL:

What basis of security is the Government taking for the loans they have made to the 272 settlers? I was in the office of the Soldier Settlement Board some time ago, and from the regulations as outlined to me by one of the commissioners, it did not seem to me that the proposal was of any great benefit to the soldier. I understood the purpose was to advance to the soldier settler about fifty per cent of the value of his land' or undertaking. He could borrow as much as that from any one, but he is, perhaps;, getting it at a little better rate of interest than be would be charged by a loan company.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

He gets very consider-, able advantages. There is, of course, a limit to what can be done, because we must remember that the number of returned soldiers now is small as compared with what it will be, and that the standard of assistance set for one must be set for all. The soldier is entitled to get a loan, first of all on his soldier entry to which he does not get title. That loan nobody else can get. The soldier gets it at five per cent, repayable on the amortization plan in twenty years. He gets it without cost; he has no solicitor's fees to pay, as that is all taken care of by the board. And the soldier is able to get a larger per cent of the value of his property as a loan than would the ordinary settler.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

What per cent?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It varies, depending upon the quantity of lands immediately available for cultivation, on the revenue bearing power of the property more than on its immediate value in the market. But I think as high as 70 or 75 per cent has been advanced.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Herbert Macdonald Mowat

Unionist

Mr. MOWAT:

The question asked by my hon. and gallant friend from Muskoka (Mr. Peter McGibbon) raises a question which I am not sure has sunk into the mind of either the minister or any other hon. member. My hon. friend has pointed

to the time "when the boys come home." At the present time there are vastly greater numbers overseas than there are in Canada, *and I am told there is a feeling overseas that the soldiers' interests should wait for consideration until the main body comes home. Here is a question again as to there being just so much available land, and it is very important that the Government should keep in mind that the main body is still overseas. As I understand the matter, soldiers are divided im feeling to some- extent. Two returned soldiers have called upon me lately protesting against claims that have been presented by selfconstituted champions of the returned soldiers.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Who are they? Veterans?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Herbert Macdonald Mowat

Unionist

Mr. MOWAT:

These soldiers want the main considerations to wait until everybody is represented. I should like the House to keep this in mind when we are dealing with the returned soldier, that there is the quiet returned soldier and there is the one who meets with his fellows and passes resolutions which may be in his interest but with which the others do not agree. I do not know how far this difference extends, but it is there, and it is important for us to remember there are different kinds of returned soldiers and that they have different ideas as to what they want.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I am at a loss to understand exactly what my hon. friend means by his language about the returned soldiers. Does he mean to say that some of them are so disreputable that we should not believe what they say? I understand there is a Great War Veterans' Association which speaks for the returned soldiers-generally. Does my hon. friend mean to say that the Government should not listen to the claims of the veterans, but should wait until the other soldiers who are still overseas return to Canada? What the hon. gentleman states is all mythical.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

John Gillanders Turriff

Unionist

Mr. TURRIFF:

Did I understand the minister to say that when a soldier applies under this Act for a quarter-section he can take a homestead whether he has had one previously or not?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

If he is entitled to a homestead, he gets one.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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UNION

John Gillanders Turriff

Unionist

Mr. TURRIFF:

I should like to know if any provision has been made so that a soldier can get a bonus of a few hundred dollars in lieu of applying for a homestead under this Act, and still have the right to [iMr. Mowat. ]

borrow $2,500. I have had a long experience in the West of men going on land under the tutelage of associations, or governments, or colonization companies, and as a rule, those people have failed. When an association has placed people on lands in the West and advanced money and taken mortgages on their farms in nine cases out of ten, or in nineteen cases out of twenty, those people have failed. I do not say that a man who is a farmer and who takes land under this Act will not make a success of it, but the great bulk of them will not be farmers. I don't care what conditions hedge around the grant of $2,500, or what precautions are taken to see that the men buy the right kind of horses and implements, in two or three years these men, who are forty or fifty miles away from a railway, will have spent that money and mortgaged their land, and the Government will have to take the land back and the money will be gone. The soldiers who take up land under this scheme will cost the country a lot of money in the end, for many of them will not make good, to put it mildly. I think it would be better for the country and more in the interest of the soldier in many cases, to give him the option of a cash bonus. T would ask the minister to consider that suggestion in the hope that when we meet next session something along that line will be done.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.
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May 18, 1918